Saturday, April 08, 2006, 4/08/2006 10:18:00 PM

Silicon Labs Prevails in Federal Trade Secrets Action

From the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman, Silicon Laboratories Inc. of Austin said Friday that it won a trade secrets verdict in U.S. District Court in Austin against competitor Axiom Microdevices of Irvine, California.

A jury decided that Axiom misappropriated Silicon Labs' trade secrets "with malice, fraud or gross negligence," the company said. The court will hold a later hearing on remedies.

The secrets involved a power-amplifier chip that Silicon Labs was developing for cell phones. A Silicon Labs employee, Ali Niknejad, who worked on the project, later joined the technical advisory board of Axiom. Silicon Labs claimed Niknejad passed its design secrets to the startup, which used them to design a competing chip.

A more detailed story from TMCNet on the lawsuit can be found here.

2 Comments:

Blogger X-boy said...

Axiom Microdevices Supports Jury Verdict in Silicon Labs v. Ali Niknejad and Axiom Microdevices

The jury overwhelmingly rejected Silicon Laboratories’ allegations that Axiom Microdevices misappropriated Silicon Labs’ technology or infringed its patents

The jury clears Ali Niknejad of all Silicon Labs’ allegations

IRVINE, Calif., April 11, 2006 — Axiom Microdevices Inc., today announced that on April 6, 2006, a federal jury unanimously rejected Silicon Laboratories’ claim that Axiom Microdevices misappropriated any technology or infringed any patent rights of Silicon Laboratories Inc.

The jury also returned a verdict finding in favor of the co-defendant, Ali Niknejad, concluding that he did not misappropriate any technology from Silicon Labs.

“We are grateful for this jury’s verdict,” said Brett Butler, president and chief executive officer of Axiom Microdevices. “As a startup, it is challenging to remain focused while defending against a long-term attack by a company with the financial means of Silicon Labs. This jury exhibited remarkable insight into the evidence and concluded accurately that Silicon Labs’ claims were without merit and, most importantly, that Professor Niknejad should be completely exonerated.”

In summary:
• The jury rejected all 16 of Silicon Labs’ patent-infringement claims.
• The jury rejected Silicon Lab’s tortious interference claim.
• The jury rejected 14 out of 15 trade-secret misappropriation claims made by Silicon Labs.
• The jury rejected all claims by Silicon Labs that any of its technology had been misappropriated.

The jury found in favor of defendant Axiom Microdevices on all trade secret misappropriation issues, except one relating to Silicon Labs’ business/commercial trade secrets, which concerned the possession of a data sheet. Although the jury found that the misappropriation was done with malice, fraud or gross negligence, the jury further determined that Silicon Labs suffered no financial damage by this misappropriation and, therefore, was not entitled to any actual or punitive damages.

3:37 PM, April 11, 2006  
Blogger X-boy said...

Axiom press release:

Axiom Microdevices Supports Jury Verdict in Silicon Labs v. Ali Niknejad and Axiom Microdevices

The jury overwhelmingly rejected Silicon Laboratories’ allegations that Axiom Microdevices misappropriated Silicon Labs’ technology or infringed its patents

The jury clears Ali Niknejad of all Silicon Labs’ allegations

IRVINE, Calif., April 11, 2006 — Axiom Microdevices Inc., today announced that on April 6, 2006, a federal jury unanimously rejected Silicon Laboratories’ claim that Axiom Microdevices misappropriated any technology or infringed any patent rights of Silicon Laboratories Inc.

The jury also returned a verdict finding in favor of the co-defendant, Ali Niknejad, concluding that he did not misappropriate any technology from Silicon Labs.

“We are grateful for this jury’s verdict,” said Brett Butler, president and chief executive officer of Axiom Microdevices. “As a startup, it is challenging to remain focused while defending against a long-term attack by a company with the financial means of Silicon Labs. This jury exhibited remarkable insight into the evidence and concluded accurately that Silicon Labs’ claims were without merit and, most importantly, that Professor Niknejad should be completely exonerated.”

In summary:
• The jury rejected all 16 of Silicon Labs’ patent-infringement claims.
• The jury rejected Silicon Lab’s tortious interference claim.
• The jury rejected 14 out of 15 trade-secret misappropriation claims made by Silicon Labs.
• The jury rejected all claims by Silicon Labs that any of its technology had been misappropriated.

The jury found in favor of defendant Axiom Microdevices on all trade secret misappropriation issues, except one relating to Silicon Labs’ business/commercial trade secrets, which concerned the possession of a data sheet. Although the jury found that the misappropriation was done with malice, fraud or gross negligence, the jury further determined that Silicon Labs suffered no financial damage by this misappropriation and, therefore, was not entitled to any actual or punitive damages.

3:39 PM, April 11, 2006  

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